Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

Looking for a job?

By maketo in Technology
Wed Feb 28, 2001 at 05:12:08 PM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)

I was sitting tonight, sifting through the local job opportunities when I realized that, in fact, I did not want to beg anyone for a job. I do need to eat, I need the money, but I have dignity. Corporate culture, working in a framed surroundings, framed hours, getting pestered by your boss. Why?

Most of the bosses do not even know as much as I do about the problems solved. Granted, someone needs to run the "business" side. But, how much of that is a necessity and how much has been built over the years by undereducated, overhyped managers? Buzzwords fly everywhere, we are taught to live average lives and many a person watches TV wishing secretly that they, one day, be like the picture in the box in front. How does this connect to the "looking for a job" title? Tonight I joined #kuro5hin after a long time. And during the conversation it struck me that these and probably other chatrooms are full of young professionals, willing to work and make the money, yet perhaps also willing to keep their identity in the process. Whoring oneself in a nice suit on an interview so that the fat bastard behind the desk likes you - is not a way to start life. It is not a way to lead it, it is not a way to end it. Just because it is there everyday does not mean you have to swallow the pill. Now, what is the solution? Can someone please make an internet-run, internet-operated, internet-constituted, internet-based, pure-100-percent-internet company consisting of us, programmers who know more or less to do cool contract programming for clients? Sure we can manage ourselves as long as there is money in the pot. Sure we will need a manager or two but it will be a friend of ours, not a commerce graduate who thinks that by the age of 25 a Mercedes is in line.

There is nothing nicer than owning your own life.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Related Links
o Kuro5hin
o Also by maketo

Display: Sort:
Looking for a job? | 42 comments (37 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
I don't think think this will be all that easy... (3.14 / 14) (#1)
by freddie on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 03:04:34 AM EST

If it were, a lot more people would be doing it. If you want a nicer job were you can be both relaxed and have more freedom, then be prepared to get paid less. Otherwise, be ready for a long hard struggle, in which you will sacrifice everything you believe in. No, there are no 'nice', 'easy' options in this world, unfortunately. Personally, I'm as disappointed with the pathetic work chores, as you are. It's really depressing. I'm going to refinance my home, and start day-trading. Then I'll probably loose it all. After that I will retire to a homeless shelter.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein
Leave me out of the IPO (4.78 / 69) (#3)
by streetlawyer on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 03:39:50 AM EST

Most of the bosses do not even know as much as I do about the problems solved

The fact that you can say this shows how frighteningly little you understand about what you're talking about. You apparently consider that "the problem" is the programming problem immediately in front of you, and that when you have written your software, the problem is gone, magically evaporated. Your boss is aware of a whole system consisting of:

  • Having contacts in the industry
  • Knowing that a problem exists
  • Knowing what capacity your company has
  • Pitching to the client for the work
  • Finding out what the client's real needs are
  • Agreeing a price
  • Communicating the requirements to you
  • You, writing your program
  • Documenting the program
  • Delivering the solution to the client
  • Presenting the solution, so that the client understands the documentation
  • Supporting the solution
  • Pitching for future business
  • Maintaining and improving relationships to find new clients
  • Billing the client
  • Collecting the debt
I've put your bit in bold so that it can be found, halfway down the list. It's not even nearly the most important part -- that would be "agreeing a price" or "collecting the debt". There are loads of tech companies which consistently deliver crappy solutions and stay in business. There are no IT companies that consistently misprice work or fail to collect debts and stay in business. You'd better hope that this friend of yours is capable of seeing the big picture as a bit more than "the business side".

Furthermore, if you don't mind my saying so, I get the suspicion that you're blowing hot air. Why on earth are you suggesting:

an internet-run, internet-operated, internet-constituted, internet-based, pure-100-percent-internet company consisting of us, programmers who know more or less to do cool contract programming for clients?
If you want to do contract programming, go out and do it already like everyone else, rather than waiting for someone to invent a gold-plated, web-enabled sooperl33t company to provide you personally with a maximally comfortable environment, naturally taking no money from "your" revenue stream for doing so.

Sure we can manage ourselves as long as there is money in the pot.

And, if you'll pardon the crudity, I can give Natalie Portman an orgasm, so long as she opens her legs. It's getting there that is the whole problem.

Whoring oneself in a nice suit on an interview so that the fat bastard behind the desk likes you - is not a way to start life. It is not a way to lead it, it is not a way to end it.
Yeah yeah yeah. See you at the watercooler, Wally.

Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
Experience... (3.50 / 4) (#15)
by ucblockhead on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 12:24:12 PM EST

You know, I can tell you've not had much experience in the software industry. What you say is true in theory, but all too often the reality doesn't match it. I've seen too many companies do the titanic while I screamed "watch out for that iceberg!"

There are no IT companies that consistently misprice work or fail to collect debts and stay in business.
Yes, and there are IT companies going out of business daily, and lots of us get stuck working for them. I've worked for three myself, plus a couple of others with stock prices hovering just above "delist" level.

Much of the problem is that many IT managers are utterly clueless about IT. Reams have been written about IT management. The sad thing is that I've rarely had a boss that read any of it.
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

depends what you mean by experience (3.25 / 4) (#19)
by streetlawyer on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 12:57:24 PM EST

I was a banker to IT companies for three years. What I found was that you completely ignored any information about the quality of the work produced and looked straight through to the financials, if you wanted to know who was going bust and who wasn't. I'll bet decent money that all the icebergs you spotted were of the financial rather than technical variety. Companies go bust because they don't charge enough for the work they do, not because they deliver products which are no good and too late.

Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
You'd lose that bet. (2.33 / 3) (#21)
by ucblockhead on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 01:27:47 PM EST

Not much more to say...

Yeah, I suppose that because income was lost after costumers fled because of missed deliverables, that it was "financial", but that'd miss the fundamental problems. I've not the time to go into detail now. Suffice to say that the answers are actually pretty well known, and available in many management books available at Amazon in less then 24-hours. It has been my experience that coders are more likely to have read those books than the managers who need the information.

This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

hmmmm I wonder if I would (2.66 / 3) (#23)
by streetlawyer on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 01:37:11 PM EST

income was lost after costumers fled because of missed deliverables

"After", or "because of"? Nine times out of ten "customers fled because of missed deliverables" means "customers fled because an account manager wasn't doing his job properly". Blaming it on the technical management is a lazy salesman's excuse. Just out of interest -- shortly after the customers left "after missed deliverables", did the sales staff start leaving to turn up in other lucrative jobs?

Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

You are wrong. (1.80 / 5) (#25)
by ucblockhead on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 02:30:49 PM EST

And I've not the time nor the inclination to go over my work history to describe how.
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Dear Streetlawyer, (3.00 / 1) (#39)
by perdida on Thu Mar 01, 2001 at 08:57:20 PM EST

You are funny, just wanted to say.

at the natalie portman point in the post I bust out laughing so hard I got everyone else in the computer lab to stare at me in shock and horror. :)


The most adequate archive on the Internet.
I can't shit a hydrogen fuel cell car. -eeee
[ Parent ]
We do (4.10 / 19) (#4)
by thunderbee on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 03:43:29 AM EST

I started a consulting/ISP business almost 5 years ago. No marketing at all here. We started out selling service to friends, top-notch service. Not the cheapest, but the best cost/quality ratio.

Now, there are 4 of us, 3 tech, one secretary. We're not a 100% internet company, we do network and security consulting. But there's no marketing lies in our life. If we believe something can't be done, or won't work the way we're told to do it, we just call it quits. Yes, we turn down clients when their project is an obvious failure and they won't change the way they want it done.

However, we're not rich. The company is in very good financial health (we don't owe nothing to VC), but grows very slowly (there's no marketing department, remember). A lot of what is earned goes back into the comapny to improve the service: better equipment, redundancy, whatever it takes. And it really pays: everything runs smoothly. No-one vas ever called outside of the office hours - except twice for hardware (a HDD and a switch) failure!

There's no doubt we pay about 30% less than the industry. But how much are you be ready to loose to get a job whare you basically do things the way you want them done? With no pointy-haired boss? No marketing guy selling crap to the client, and having you run the (crumbling) show afterward?

It can be done - it's not a dream, it's not unfeasible, you can even do it and still eat and pay the rent. But you won't get a Ferrari that way. However, you might end up with a better life ;-)

Eh? (4.06 / 16) (#6)
by fink on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 06:15:04 AM EST

Ok, heere we go. Read it in the light that it's intended. :)
Can someone please make an internet-run, internet-operated, internet-constituted, internet-based, pure-100-percent-internet company consisting of us, programmers who know more or less to do cool contract programming for clients?
Sure, they're called dot-coms in the speak of the "great unwashed", and they have a history of failure. The technology might be here, but it's overhyped and underused. Sure, I sound cynical - been there, done that, played the video game - and got nothing out of it. Business needs a reason in order to exist, and it also needs good management. Unfortunately good managers aren't always good leaders.

If you want the sort of lifestyle you describe, I suggest you become a freelancer or contractor. I tried it, once for a while, and didn't like it. I work for Boeing Australia Limited - which sounds like what you're avoiding - and quite frankly it's not that bad. I'm doing comparatively interesting projects, getting paid reasonably well, and I know that my job will be there next week, because the managers are competent, commercial types.

Programmers and software engineers, by their nature, don't usually make good upper-level managers - commerce people do. Sure, they don't understand the IT-level stuff - but I'll bet (you just proved it) you don't understand the commercial side of any business. :)

What are you running from? Sounds like you don't really know - you're scared of the unknown; and we've all been there. It's not that bad - and the "fat bastard" behind the desk can be your best friend. I know, mine is - now that my old boss quit. Hell, my old boss was a damn good manager, and a brilliant leader. He was never upper-management material though, and neither are most of us.

The PHB stories are only the worst case... and can they happen to you regardless of who you are, who you work for, or whether you're a contractor or not.


And while you're at it... (4.25 / 36) (#7)
by pwhysall on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 07:28:16 AM EST

...I'd also like sexual relief at my desk and someone to cut my toenails for me and free beer and free food and I'll only write code that I think is cool and I won't use Windows or Linux and I'll leave if you don't let me use BeOS and I start my day at noon and I don't want to come into the office and I don't want to work to timescales because that's so last year and I'm not developing in Java because C++ is so much more l33t and I expect to be able to download porn and warez over the company internet link which by the way you'll have to upgrade to at least a T3 and if you don't hire me you're l4m3.

That's what you sound like to a manager. And it's what you sound like to me, too.

You know, the guy/gal who does tedious stuff like winning the contracts for which you write code, does all the paperwork, juggles the various contracts so that you don't end up defaulting on them and losing your job...

Paging Mr Reality, Mr Reality to the front desk, please.

Hot DAMN, people who have no experience in the world of work bug me when they start spewing.
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.

That type of attitude (3.00 / 1) (#40)
by cable on Fri Mar 02, 2001 at 02:32:46 PM EST

seems to be carried by a lot of different contractors and employees.

Once again, Peter, you words of wisdom carry a lot of weight.

My current employer, of which you already know about from IWETHEY and my discussions there, has me making all kinds of compromises. They keep me hired there because I do things their way, even if it is gut wrenching for me and causes me stress (or maybe I cause my own stress?) and I have to get the final word from PHB managers on the way my programs should work. But still my programs have fewer bugs than the programs that other programmers write, even if they do take longer to write than the others.

My job search continues for a better job than I currently have. If the current employer would at least say "Nice job" and treat me with some respect, I may not be looking for another job. But as it stands I am just a programming peon that PHBs can push around.

Only you, can help prevent Neb Rage!
[ Parent ]
Sure it's pie in the sky (3.84 / 13) (#8)
by loaf on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 07:50:11 AM EST

But there's a little gem in the midst of it all:

I did not want to beg anyone for a job
That is a very reasonable perspective. The rest of the rant seems to be me to be borne of one who could do with stopping by the clue shop and having a browse.

The job market is a buyer's market - if you are an employer the onus is on people to sell themselves to you. A paradigm shift into allowing a more balanced approach would be a great thing. This does exist, the graduate recruitment and contract markets, for example, are both situations where employers will bend over backwards to attract the high-quality employee.

Of course, once you're inside then it's a different matter - graduates find themselves working all hours and contractors know that their grip on stability is tenuous at best.

Management is different, it's a different skill to engineering, development or research. Just because you don't like it, that doesn't mean it's an inefficient method of running a business. The easy answer is go work for yourself, but don't come complaining to us when your bank manager, accountant and lawyers start seeming an awful lot like that management team you were complaining about ...

Let me get this straight (4.65 / 23) (#9)
by pig bodine on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 07:58:35 AM EST

You want to do contract programming, but you don't want to beg for jobs? I don't think you've thought this through.

Amen! (4.16 / 6) (#12)
by fossilcode on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 09:24:34 AM EST

Contract programming is all about begging (or having your pimp do it for you) for work. So is most of the sales end of any industry, begging people to buy your product.

The permanent work the author deplores requires one major begging session (followed by littles ones for things like promotions and paper clips). Contract work means going through one or more major begging sessions every 3-6 months either to get your contract renewed or to find a new one. I know, I do it.

As to the problem of the PHB, I've run into at least one anywhere I've been. There are more competent folks in business than incompetent or the established companies would have gone the way of the dot-coms long ago. The shock is when you find yourself in a situation where you have unwittingly become the clueless PHB, and yes it does happen, no matter how smart you are.

"...half the world blows and half the world sucks." Uh, which half were you again?
[ Parent ]
ugh (4.60 / 25) (#11)
by 0xdeadbeef on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 08:37:20 AM EST

1. You've got the right attitude.
2. You're hopelessly naive.

Yes, most managers and salespeople are overpaid charlatans. But they do something you probably can't do, and certainly can't do in your current level of experience and state of mind. Rather than whine here, go out there, get a job, learn business, start a business, and change the nature of the market to cut out the bullshit.

But alas, you seem to speak from a sense of entitlement, so you'd probably become everything that you hate now.

Managers (3.75 / 8) (#13)
by schporto on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 09:33:11 AM EST

Ya know I kinda see managers like engineers....
See they just have different objects to work with. Take an engineer - their main job is to create something to meet a requirement sheet (loosely). OK they want a widget - it should be strong and cheap - titanium is strong but expensive, is aluminum strong enough?, what about steel? A manager's job is to balance work, time, and people, to produce the most ammount of stuff. Should Bob or Joe work on this project. Mary has spare time, but no skils in that area.
Maybe its me but I do see some similarities. Yes many managers are charlatans, but so too are a lot of engineers. We just can't hide it as well.

[ Parent ]
Get real. (4.47 / 19) (#14)
by trhurler on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 11:26:45 AM EST

There's a vice president where I work who is a guy like me - a programmer, a sysadmin, etc. He's brilliant. He used to do CPU simulations for DEC. He and some similar friends started a business - all tech wizards, all the time. It failed. Then he joined this company I work for. It is comprised mostly of phone support, marketing, and management people. The difference is, it makes money - it is profitable, and it is growing fast. Someday you'll understand why, if you don't spend your whole life whining and talking about how every job you don't understand is a waste.

That said, if you look around, you can avoid most of the crap. I don't wear suits. Hell, I usually wear jeans and t-shirts unless we've got visitors in the building, and sometimes even then. I have an office, two desks, free soda, all the usual salary and benefits stuff, and I am doing what I want to do. There are a few problems, mostly related to the fact that the company is growing and the related fact that the customer base is somewhat amorphous, but life is pretty damned good. I've got two levels of management above me that are technically competent, and in general, I don't answer to anyone who isn't. I interviewed in a suit, but it wasn't necessary, as it turns out. You too can get such a job, if you're competent. But you might have to quit whining and go do it.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

Become a contractor (4.10 / 10) (#16)
by kostya on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 12:26:59 PM EST

  • Get paid for your work. 1 hour==$X
  • It is now acceptable for you to "hop". You can have three different "jobs" in a year and no one thinks anything of it.
  • Insulated from corporate politics. Not immune, mind you. But you are one step removed. You main "politics" now becomes fighting the billing system to make sure you get paid on time. But now you don't care who is in charge--whoever it is, they are your customer and they pay you.
Many would argue that this is a very mercenary-like spirit. Yes. You are correct. I often describe myself as a geek mercenary--because that is what I am. But then I get to avoid a lot of crap and increase the control over my life.


  • Never a part of the team. This varies from company to company, but even at good ones where everyone is a part of the team, contractors are still "not quite".
  • Often the first to go. Not always. But often. This is because you now cost a LOT of money. But then, that's why you get paid a lot (you take what you need and stockpile the rest like Scrooge McDuck).
As a contracting old-timer said to me, "It's all about quality of life."

Veritas otium parit. --Terence
A genuine concern ... (3.20 / 5) (#17)
by spcmanspiff on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 12:30:55 PM EST

But a whiny way of putting it, as others have pointed out.

I'm struggling with the same questions, in some ways, since I'm going to be entering 'the real world' in about 3 months. However, I've already had more than enough experience, good and bad, with the professional / dot-com workplace.

Long-term, I'm not sure how to resolve my love of code wiith my dislike for Corporate America. One sure way is to ascend to guru-hood as quickly as possible -- and believe me, I'm working on it. :)

Another possibility is just not working in computers. I could keep coding as a hobby on any number of open-source projects, and make rent and food money through any number of ways that are more appealing than a corporate environment: Ski bum, trail mantenance, paramedic, construction worker, mechanic, jack-of-all-trades, etc... some would require training, sure, but nothing too bad, and all have appeal that Fortune 500 computer consulting doesn't.

Maybe I can find a work-from-home opportunity. Or get sponsored for some open-source project...

I suppose what I'm trying to say is: Yeah, the way things are structured these days sucks, but it's better to look for ways around it than to whine about it. Opportunities exist.

For my own personal short-term solution, check my sig. I just added it today.

I's all about self-determination. (3.66 / 9) (#18)
by jamesa on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 12:33:12 PM EST

If you are determined to do something... go hard!

If I may suggest, try setting up your own home-based business doing whatever you are good at. Offer a price that is competitive or lower than other businesses in your field and draw in the business. Who knows... you might end up getting a pernament job (like a fellow tech-friend of mine) out of a contract. Just follow what your gut says and go for the gold.

Also... if you apply at different companies that you would like to work at, be persistant in getting an interview and/or keeping in touch with them. Employers like to see persistance, determination and nothing but your best effort in a potential employee.

Persistance does pay off in the end. Don't give up.

All you base are belong to us! (And the muzik soundtrack isn't Tekkno... it's GABBER!!)


Just GNU It!

Live, grasshopper (4.41 / 12) (#20)
by dgay on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 01:08:43 PM EST

There are a large number of people who simply want a job (my wife being one of them). I fit into the category like yourself - I am not going to change who I am simply to bring home a decent paycheck. I also felt management was useless until I was at a company with very lax management. Guess what it was like... _NOTHING_ ever got done. Without someone being responsible for something it is too easy for things to slide between the cracks. If you feel the way you do - start your own company and lead how you see fit. Once you do that for a bit you will realize that management is necessary and not all managers are bad. You should hear what they say about us techies between closed doors and a lot of the time they have some good points :) We aren't exactly the easiest to work with either - too much logic is not always a good thing (that's why Kirk was the captain - not Spok).

consulting collectives (4.58 / 12) (#22)
by Arkady on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 01:31:01 PM EST

I make my living as a consultant through a worker-owned geek collective, and I must say it's quite cool.

Our biggest problem, and what I'd expect you'd encounter as well, is that we've never managed to attract the "manager or two" type people (actually, what's needed is sales-type people, but I wanted to work a quote in there). The cultures and attitudes are vastly different and we haven't found a way past that yet, despite the fact that we off 5% of the gross on any contract to the sales agent.

We'd love to expand, or help other folks set up a similar operation, but the sales issue needs to be solved. The folks who are into that sort of thing move in different circes than we techs and tend to have very different priorities and interests.

(Aside: if any of you know a sales-type who's into this sort of thing, point 'em my way. ;-)


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.

All in the attitude. (4.31 / 22) (#24)
by Signal 11 on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 02:28:38 PM EST

Great diary entry, but might I point out that it's all in how you look at things. The way I see it, you have two choices in life:

1. Hate everything that is not right in the world.

Your job sucks, your car needs repairs, you don't have enough cash, you don't like the way you look, the clothes you wear, or the lack of free time that you have. You can dislike all of these things. You can dislike the people you work with, or your girlfriend's strange behaviors. You can not like your friends' attitude on things, or their sense of humor, or a dozen other things. And you know what? You'll die unhappy trying to change things outside of your control.

2. Forgive people, and forgive yourself, and try to be the best you can be in spite of it all.

That's the one I picked. I can't change the world, I can't change people, and I can't change my own nature. Sure, I can put new clothes on, or grow a beard, or wear contacts instead of glasses, but it is all superficial (not to say don't do it - by all means do so - it makes you feel better) and not relevant to true happiness. True happiness is knowing, through and through, that you are the best you can be.

In the final equation, it's all in how you look at things. If you believe your employer is bad, you will only see the bad. If you think the job market is boring, then it will be boring, and if you think there's nothing left of interest to do in computers - guess what, there will be nothing interesting in the field of computers. If I were in the ghetto, without a job and only the clothes on my back and everywhere around me was dispair and disillusion I would look up and marvel at the sky. I would be thankful that I was still alive, and I would try, above everything else, to be the best I could be.

What do you despise? By this, are you known.

Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.

Oh No ! (3.00 / 2) (#26)
by Phage on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 04:48:43 PM EST

Normally I would be rating this is low as possible (or not at all) due to my dislike of the poster.

But...dammit....he is completely correct....<sob>

Part of maturation is realising that life/happiness/welath/whatever has to be earned. Your utopia may be achievable. Go out and make it yourself if you cannot find it elsewhere.

I don't find Heathens to be sexy, as a general rule.
[ Parent ]

it's all in how you look at things??? (3.25 / 4) (#27)
by Cyberrunner on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 04:59:16 PM EST

I agree with you that its all attitude and how you view things!!! Voted '1' on your post, tho, because:

In no way do I agree with "I can't change the world," for if I did there would be no reason to even try! -- Further quoting you "... I can't change people, and I can't change my own nature" Maybe not in a minute, maybe not even in a year, but to be stuck as who I am, as I am right now, would be the ultimate end of even trying. In that case, why live? Because its the struggle to change that is important, to give up is the end of the struggle and you might as well just pull the trigger!

The article "Looking for a job?" may not have it all correct, changing the world would mess it all up, but it is still alive at -3 with 463 votes almost evenly tied, what a split! Just provide the solution and people will change in at least some ways, hopefully positive. That's the most positive sign I seen in awhile for hoping that it will all change, some people want to.

Don't give up hope!

[ Parent ]

Ahem.... (3.33 / 6) (#29)
by Signal 11 on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 05:11:03 PM EST

If you could change the world, you'd probably be rich and powerful and therefore unlikely to be posting on Kuro5hin like the rest of us who are bored out of our minds at work.

As far as changing other people, I'd love to see you try - married women have been trying to "change" their husbands for the last three hundred years. Thus far, I have yet to meet many "changed" married men.

...you might as well just pull the trigger!

*cough* Perhaps taking your own advice would help change the world....

it is still alive at -3...That's the most positive sign I seen in awhile for hoping that it will all change, some people want to.

I gurgle with pleasure at the thought that it might make it to the front page.

Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

Ok.. (1.00 / 2) (#30)
by Cyberrunner on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 05:20:55 PM EST

You're the wrong person to try and convince...

...Thus far, I have yet to meet many "changed" married men
That's not what I was talking about...

*cough* Perhaps taking your own advice would help change the world....
I think that's already been addressed...

I gurgle with pleasure at the thought that it might make it to the front page.
If you don't know what meant, I don't need to respond to you, O'well...

[ Parent ]

it's all in how you look at things ??? (none / 0) (#36)
by mami on Thu Mar 01, 2001 at 12:15:53 AM EST

In no way do I agree with I can't change the world," for if I did there would be no reason to even try

No reason not to believe in it and try it, but what you will most probably end up with is realizing that in the end you changed mostly yourself more and hardly anyone else. And that's in the end the same outcome as if you had changes someone else, but stayed the same yourself.

You are changing the world when you "change yourself". You are part of the world, aren't you ?

It's just smarter to recognize early on the realities and limitations and working on yourself is much more fulfilling than being always disappointed because the others are just tooo stupid/bad/evil/ignorant and what have you.

[ Parent ]

Best possible suckiness (2.20 / 5) (#28)
by RandomPeon on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 05:08:25 PM EST

You've just come up with a common insight: We have an awful lot of parasites in our system. Sometimes it makes you wish for a command economy where the marketroids and the finance-droids are declared "enemies of the people" and sent to labor camps and they do something useful :)

Unfortunately, they're not going away anytime soon. You can avoid corporations where marketdroids have infrected the culture to the point that real thought is not allowed - these people tend to make mature products. People like you want to avoid working in the IT/IS department of a company in a mature industry.

IMHE, consulting companies have a relatively small number of non-productive types. They also tend to be technology-centric to the point where you can sort of call your own shots. I've got friends who can take the morning off whenever they feel like it as long as they get the job done on time. The drawback is that you may be personally forced to utter the word "solution" *shudder* 50 times a day. If you can do a small amount of corporate bullshit yourself you can avoid working where there are armies of professional bullshitters.

Such is capitalism... (3.45 / 11) (#32)
by The Cunctator on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 10:49:39 PM EST

If you live in a capitalist/materialist society, then people who are primarily interested in the making of money will rise to the top salary-wise. They generally tend to be boring people who aren't necessarily particularly intelligent or intellectually curious outside of the skill-sets that allow them to procure money, and those skill-sets include a big part of what would negatively be described as BS or positively as social cohesion.

In other words, they know how to convince people to do stuff for them, be it give them a contract or work 80 hours weeks. This often involves lying, deceit, buzzwords, appeals to emotion, and other propoganda and rhetoric.

But so what? They get the money, but if you think they're boring people, then you win out in the quality of life.

And that's the real answer to your question. You won't find the emotional satisfaction you seek, the avoidance of buzzwords and bureacracies, in your job, no matter what it is (unless you're absurdly lucky or brilliant--see below).

Find satisfaction in the rest of your life: participate in politics, your neighborhood, the arts, nature, friends, lovers, etc. Let those choices then shape your career, rather than the other way around. Build your internet utopia not as a business concern but as a cultural one--wait, I think that's what k5 is trying to be!

Since the money/managerial people are unavoidable, it does make sense to try to establish systems and press strategically for the encouragement of good money people; those who are innovative, and make positive contributions, and who don't lie or resort to buzzwords, etc., and those with a sense of loyalty, etc. It's important to get leaders who for whatever reason feel a moral imperative to help/protect those who have made them rich and successful, even though money/managerial/political/charismatic types can usually succeed with any given set of people.

There's a lot of naivete in the post. The only way to avoid begging for a job is to get out of the capitalist system. Try academia, and even there it's no easy street. Or maybe the governmental complex, e.g. teachers, doctors, and military contractors. But remember, pretty much any system involving people rewards those with social skills, which ain't necessarily a terrible thing. Only true geniuses can get away without having any at all, and there aren't many of those.

Again, looking for spiritual or emotional satisfaction in your career is not the right approach. Try to integrate your career into an already emotionally satisfying life, and you'll do much better.

Any system will have people who are rewarded not because they do their ostensible job well but because they have charisma/social skills. It's harder to fake it in certain fields, like science or athletics, but even there social skills go a long way. And it's nearly impossible to make money w/o an understanding and appreciation for the way people work, even if you figure out a way to avoid interacting with them.

I get the impression that you really like the culture and society of #kuro5hin etc. Don't be tricked into thinking that culture can be simply replicated in a business plan. It's reasonable to look for ways to make business better, and going freelance may be a better option for you, but there are a lot of reasons that work sucks, and a lot of them are unavoidable.

Such is any system... (3.40 / 5) (#33)
by The Cunctator on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 11:01:07 PM EST

I just want to make clear that I'm not making some goofy socialist dig at capitalism. Those who are good at making money are rewarded in a capitalist system; most of the time(?) their acquisition of money involves the creation of capital and thus contributes in some way to the progress of society (and there are of course arguments against that kind of materialist progress, but what's the alternative?). Under other systems, such as socialism, those who are good at simply manipulating the will of people are rewarded, and they don't necessarily create anything at all, and you end up with a hierarchy of leeches.

To some degree any system evolves into a hierarchy of leeches; you can view the food chain as such: plants actually add useful energy to the system, while large carnivorous animals effectively consume thousands of pounds of plantlife to stay alive. But such animals are marvelous concentrations of complexity, like us.

It's not something for which there is one right view, though you will find plenty of people who think there is. I'm one who believes that with power comes responsibility and thus caution and humility; the idea of noblesse oblige. It's a policy that allows one to be selfish enough not to need to destroy all hierarchies or self-flagellate, but not self-righteous enough to believe that one in power is that more necessary or important in the totality of the universe than the quiet blade of grass.

[ Parent ]

Consulting (3.40 / 5) (#34)
by LaNMaN2000 on Tue Feb 27, 2001 at 11:10:26 PM EST

"Can someone please make an internet-run, internet-operated, internet-constituted, internet-based, pure-100-percent-internet company consisting of us, programmers who know more or less to do cool contract programming for clients?"

Sounds like you want to be a consultant, to me. If you are experienced and have built up a portfolio that you can show to prospective clients, then perhaps consulting is for you. Of course, you would still need to "whore yourself" to companies interested in your services and you would need to be mindful of your finances, but consulting offers a lot more freedom than the typical 9 to 5.

Lenny Grover -- link-spamming to make Google give me my name back!
Suggestion: (3.33 / 3) (#37)
by regeya on Thu Mar 01, 2001 at 02:14:41 AM EST

Either read Angela's Ashes or watch the movie.

You might think I'm just being a smartass, but I'm not. I'm struggling right now with what I'll accept as a line of work...I find it hard to accept that, right now, as I'm stuck in one geographic location, I have a somewhat-fresh degree (one which comes with strings; three more hours of classwork and it's official) it's nearly March, and I don't have a job yet. Nothing appealing. It's all sales, manual labor and "customer service" (in other words, retail.) To make things more fun, the bookkeeper at my wife's school screwed up and at the end of the school year she won't get paid again until August sometime. Do I just accept anything or hang on for another month? Tough choice, and dammit, you made me depressed again. :-/

Anyway, the point of the Angela's Ashes reference: pride is one thing. Eating is another.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

Great Idea! (3.66 / 3) (#38)
by DuncanE on Thu Mar 01, 2001 at 08:43:29 AM EST

This is a great idea. A company built from hackers/Kuro'5 all over the world. We contract out our services to anyone who needs them, for any type of language or platform. We would charge at a hourly rate relative to the skill of the contracted individual (skill would be dictated by a moderation system of course, just like the one used for posts). We dont even need project ideas like Asyncrons.com, just a good skill set. Anyway... Im in .... all we need is someone to manage it... and start it... and finance it... But seriously... I'd love to take part in something like this but the barrier for entry is too high. I like my guaranteed monthly salary; I like interacting with my work mates face to face; I like the routine. And I dont think Im alone... Sounds to me like you dont like your boss. Go get a new one - someone whos more like 'friend of ours'.

Not all corporations are like that. (4.00 / 2) (#41)
by DoomGerbil on Sun Mar 04, 2001 at 04:36:49 PM EST

The company I work for (which shall remain unnamed) is, as far I can tell, the perfect job for someone who looks at things this way. Its a very, very large software company, and while most of our products are for Win32, we have some Solaris and Linux software (enterprise-class software). My boss started in the same position I'm in now, as did his boss, and his boss. You don't get to the "managerial" types until you hit the boardroom. Every day I come in at 11am, stay till I feel lik I'm done, whether that is 3 in the afternoon or 2 the next morning. I go in wearing jeans and a tshirt, and I feel overdressed. I love my job, and I love this company. I'm given a task to complete, and then they leave it up to me as to how it gets done. The soda machines are free, as well as the gym on the ground floor. Its about as atypical a corporate environment as I can think of. They even let me work from home if I want to (and I'm just an intern). It sounds to me like this is what you're looking for. These companies do exist. You don't have to settle, as long as you're willing to keep looking, although that isn't always possible.

OT: A practical joke related to job searching... (1.33 / 3) (#42)
by theboz on Mon Mar 05, 2001 at 09:53:16 AM EST

Back when I was in high school, a friend of mine was working at the department store near the grocery store where I worked. Well, both of us tended to not exert too much effort at work because we were always sore from lifting weights and exercise. That didn't hurt my job because I ended up either bagging groceries or stocking. Well, he got in trouble and was eventually fired. I went over to his house that afternoon and he told me about it and I already knew the manager there. She was a bitch. So, I came up with a plan. I called the number of the department store (with my friends listening on a speakerphone I made) and asked to speak with the manager about employment. Well, the lady at the front got the manager to come to the desk and pick up the phone. So then I told her, "Hi. My name is Xxxxx Xxxxxx and I'm looking for a job." She said, "Ok, what sort of a job?" My reply was, "A blowjob." She didn't like that answer very much.


Looking for a job? | 42 comments (37 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:


All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!